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Does anyone know what the standard format of a sound effect asset delivery is for a mobile phone game? Is it better to deliver stereo sounds or mono?

Does it all depend on the device and software being used so therefore there is no standard??

Cheers,

-E

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The one that sounds the best. Generally it's stereo, but it depends on the sound, context, mix and playback device(s). As pointed out below, music and ambiences are almost always stereo, but in terms of SFX and dialogue it's more of a matter of taste and depends on the processes that have been applied as well (e.g. a stereo reverb). If the playback device is mono then playing back stereo audio is worthless and likely sounds bad because of the phasing that results from downmixing the channels, unless the file and/or the mix is assured to be closely phase coherent / "mono-compatible". Note that on mobile devices people may be using the internal speaker(s) (likely a mono speaker) or headphones (stereo), so you need to strike a balance between for which playback you'll optimize more or whether you want to optimize for both. Reference monitoring is important.

The game engine may also affect the choice of channel counts in particular sounds (e.g. 3D positional audio works only with mono files AFAIK). Or there may be other specific restrictions, see the documentation.

And you may need to produce mono files just for the sake of getting a smaller file size, if you might end up using too much space.

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ask the producer, what format they want it, if none in particular 44.1-16 bit / mono files is a default. it's been mentioned before - mobile devices tend to only have mono outputs, not only that your memory constraints are higher. you probably are only going to have 7 MBS total to work with after all is compressed - keep that in mind. don't send stereo unless needed.

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it depends on the type of phone but generally, the music and ambiences are in stereo and shots are in mono.

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That's what I've always gone by but I got into a discussion with someone who said they prefer delivering stereo one shots because they sound better/more interesting. –  Eric Van Amerongen Jun 12 '12 at 23:37

Depends on what the developer wants. Some times size is more important then stereo image. It will probably change project to project.

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